Fishermen relief assistance checks have arrived

Governor Ralph DLG. Torres announced on Thursday that assistance for the CNMI’s fishing community should be ready for pick up Friday afternoon.

According to the Administrator of the Office of Grants Management and State Clearinghouse Epiphanio E. Cabrera Jr., the awards arrived the morning of October 14, 2021. The CNMI Fishermen Relief Program was made possible through funding assistance received from CARES Act (Section 12005), which provided assistance to tribal, subsistence, commercial, and charter fishery participants affected by the novel coronavirus.

Within the CNMI, there were a total 1,205 applicants to the fisheries program.  Of the said total, there are a total of 1,180 awards to the CNMI under the subsistence and commercial programs – 1,153 of 1,172 subsistence applications and 27 of 33 commercial applicants.

“Each subsistence applicant is to receive a one-time payment of $755.68. Commercial applicant awards are based on figures provided by the business that reflected actual loss. Award disbursements were based on a formula put together by the CNMI Division of Fish & Wildlife and approved by the Pacific State Marine Fisheries Commission.  The CNMI received an appropriation of $1 million to the program of which $871,299.04 was distributed among subsistence fishermen and $97,919.09 to commercial applicants.  The remaining funds went to administrative fees on both state and commission levels,” said Cabrera.

Applicants are being asked to visit their local post office for their awards starting Friday afternoon.  Tinian and Rota awards may take additional days for distribution due to transit times to the islands.

“We would like to thank the public’s patience and understanding throughout the past few months. We remind the CNMI fisheries community that a second round of Fisheries Relief Assistance that will be coordinated through the Department of Lands and Natural Resources’ Division of Fish and Wildlife. Special recognition and appreciation to the Office of Grants Management led by Administrator Epi Cabrera and his hardworking team for leading this initiative,” said Governor Torres.

All concerns and inquiries regarding the distributed awards should be addressed to the following:

Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission

205 SE Spokane St, Suite 100

Portland, OR 97202-6487

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CNMI Office of the Governor

Office of the Governor Response to Dismissal of Lawsuit Filed Against the House Judiciary & Government Operations Committee

Yesterday, the Superior Court held that the Office of the Governor could not proceed with its case against the House Judiciary and Government Operations Committee. Although the Administration respects the decision of the Judge, we believe the decision is erroneous by ignoring and misinterpreting law and precedent. For example, in its rush to follow federal precedent, it skipped right over the plain text of the Commonwealth Constitution. Then it overlooked some of the most important protections found even in the federal cases — such as the rule that the legislature may subpoena the executive only when the information it needs is not reasonably available anywhere else. The decision will be appealed. It will be for the Supreme Court to ultimately decide the merits of this civil case.

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